The Isle of Staffa which name comes from Old Norse and means Pillar Island can be found six miles west of Mull. It’s the vikings who gave the island it’s name after seeing the many basalt columns. It was, however, Sir Joseph Banks in the late 18th century who named Staffa’s main sea cavern “Fingal’s Cave” from the Gaelic name “An Uamh Bhin” which means “the melodious cave”. It’s safe to say that John Banks and his party put Staffa on the map and quite a few prominent folk visited the island after him including Queen Victoria, Felix Mendelssohn, Jules Verne and Dr David Livingstone.
Felix Mendelssohn, a German composer, wrote the Hebrides Overture after his visit in 1830 and captured the magic of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave beautifully. The music brought further fame to Staffa and nowadays many folk make the trip to this beautiful island which is in spring home to various seabirds including guillemots, puffins and razorbills. If you want to make the trip to this very special island you can find many companies on our Cruise and Boat Trips page. Below is a lovely video which shows the beauty of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave combined with a part of Felix Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture.